AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel AgedAleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged
BA SCORE
4.3/5
429 Ratings
AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel AgedAleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kmcnair on 12-13-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#734
Reviews:
96
Ratings:
429
pDev:
7.67%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
381
Gots:
110
Trade:
16
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 429 |  Reviews: 96
Photo of resistdefy
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of afrokaze
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of mwbrady12
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of MontereyBay831
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pkrager5
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of tectactoe
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again, one last big thanks to Kevin R for breaking out the barrel aged AleSmith goodies. This was the last of the bunch. BA Numbskull pours a seedy copper-ish and overtly muddled brown color. Label it mostly opaque and call it a day. It takes just moments for the khaki head to settle to a dollop of foam in the middle and a crust that outlines the top of the brew.

Very sticky and very deep is the aroma; a brick road paved with elements of prune, raisin, caramel, and toffee, upon which a boisterous crew of bourbon-lathered barrel staves comes tap dancing heavily across. Acetone notes here and there, thundering in and out, covered up by some sweeter grape and brown sugar notes in the finish.

I can already tell that this sucker is going to be a bourbon punch in the throat... or at least it smells that way. It should be noted that the base beer is quite pungently sticky and delicate in and of itself - without its superior pungency, barrel-aging of this magnitude would likely create an undrinkable beer. Sweetness and heat tend to balance, so I sure hope it does, here.

I have a bowl in front of me filled with grapes and prunes, lacquered in a 50/50 mixture of brown sugar and bourbon, and I'm shoveling them in my face with dry, spicy oak spoon each time I take a sip of this beer. It's quite hot. It's quite sweet. But definitely more hot than sweet, like the type of girl you meet at a bar and are afraid to date because she's got no morals or ethics, but she's a freak that can bring you to your knees.

BA Numbskull finishes with more (heavy) bourbon, boozy oak, slightly burnt coffee, bourbon, sweet prunes, bourbon, and brown sugar. Did I mention it was bourbon-y? Order up a cocktail with 2 parts bourbon, 2 parts brown sugar, 1 part prune juice, add 2 dashes of cocoa powder, garnish with a date and a sprinkle with oak chips. Viscous, heavy, thick, and carbonated well enough for the style it represents; creamy, heavy mouth feel.

This beer was pretty good, no doubt, but I don't exactly think it lives up to the acclaim it has been given. Perhaps I should have let the bottle mellow out a bit more? As is, it's a bit too "in your face" with the bourbon and heat to thoroughly enjoy more than a four ounce sample. It's delicious in extremely small doses; the flavors are excellent and work well together, but it becomes clamoring and cumbersome in larger ones due to its heat. I'd like to have this again with more age and see how it fares.

 2,464 characters

Photo of mrebeka
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of akang
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Piddmeista
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of NurseBri
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of CoolEthan
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of jeff1973
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Michigan
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. 2012 vintage.

BA Old Numbskull pours a dark cherry caramel color. Initially a large off-white cap forms, but it bubbles away down to a ring around the edge. A full, rich looking barrel aged barleywine.

There is a lot of bourbon in the nose. Vanilla and sharp brown sugar scents follow. There is a nice malty presence in the second layer that will probably come out more as it ages. There are some tannic woody notes and alcohol in the back.

The flavor has a nice balance between bourbon and barleywine. The bourbon comes through first, with vanilla and tannic woody notes. Brown sugar is the strongest sweet flavor, with caramel, marshmallow, toffee, and dark bread notes. A little bit of citrus or earthy hoppiness comes through at the end. Aside from the bourbon harshness, this beer has tied together very well right now.

There is a noticeable stickiness in the mouthfeel. The bourbon comes through, keeping it a little bit dry and boozy. The carbonation is moderate and creamy, and it has a full body.

This is a very good beer with a strong character. At the moment the bourbon is a bit harsh, but it will smooth out over time for sure.

 1,187 characters

Photo of erikkoppin
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of roodie
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Altenor
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of POTABLE83
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of evanforbeer
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 purchased at the brewery (I'm fairly certain this was $30!?!). Bottle says barrel-aged reserve 2012
Pours a lovely deep, murky auburn with nice soapy off-white head

aroma- so rich. toasty walnuts, some orange, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, caramel

taste- follows nose, leafy/citrusy hop bitterness come through, quickly turns to lush caramel, walnut, and vanilla; dark fruits, walnut raisin cookies, finishes with bourbon/bourbon heat, musty orange, and caramel

feel- rich, perfect carbonation, pretty drinkable

Very complex and delicious beer. The barrels really works nicely for this beer, but all the malt and hop flavors just shine richly.

 666 characters

Photo of vissai
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of VAbdoyan
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of impending
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of 3rdto1st
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of MoistPope
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 429 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.